Urban Petals creates one of a kind floral designs for events, donates them to nonprofit organizations the following day and inspires people to enjoy arranging flowers.
Sarah von Pollaro is the founder of Urban Petals. She has been passionate about flowers since she began arranging them with her grandmother as a young girl. Years later, between semesters at Yale University, she apprenticed with two top designers in Manhattan who had been trained by the renowned French florist Christian Tortu. Although a promising young floral designer, upon graduation Sarah chose to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector in affordable housing and youth development. Always finding joy in arranging and realizing she could combine her passion for flowers and helping others, she launched Urban Petals in 2004.
What started as a weekend job quickly turned into a full time operation with events including a dinner for over fifteen hundred people hosting the President of the Ukraine, the grand opening of the Chinese Embassy, the 25th anniversary of the National Building Museum, and two movie premieres. Sarah's floral designs have adorned the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, and multiple embassies. She has been honored to help with special events at the White House. She has been awarded Doer of the Week by Martha Stewart and opened the inaugural Macy's Flower Show in Washington. Sarah's expertise has been featured in Daily Candy, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Southern Living Magazine, and many other publications.
Sarah created the Flower Party and Flower Empowered to share her love of flowers and belief that anyone on any budget can create gorgeous, long lasting floral designs with the proper tools, instruction, and a little encouragement. In person and on the Flower Empowered website, Sarah provides tips and tricks of the trade while demonstrating floral design techniques in a fun and simple way. She has been likened to Julia Child as she demystifies the classical art of floral arranging and has filmed a special on the subject for PBS. She is also privileged to teach at the Smithsonian.
Sarah loves giving flowers and inspiring others to do the same and strongly believes that when people create their own floral designs, they tend to smile more, which makes the world a better place. Sarah started the Brighten Lives initiative to share flowers with those who could not otherwise afford them. Sarah and her team serve nonprofit organizations by donating arrangements from events, hosting therapeutic floral workshops, and providing centerpieces for fundraisers.
When not arranging flowers or inspiring others to do the same, Sarah can be found playing with her son Theo who loves trucks as much as she loves flowers.
Sarah is personally involved with The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a camp started by Paul Newman for children and families coping with cancer, sickle cell anemia, and other serious illnesses. She had the opportunity to work there in college and says the experience changed her life.
create | give | inspire